Ian Brinkley, Acting Chief Economist at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, says:
'The figures confirm that real wages have fallen again, the third month in a row, as measured by average weekly earnings. This trend is likely to persist, as CIPD labour market surveys show that most employers expect to offer basic pay awards below the rate of inflation. The sharp fall in earnings growth is remarkably broad-based, which is due to a combination of persistently low productivity growth and a fall in confidence among employers about the future prospects for demand in the UK economy. The better news is on the employment side, where unemployment has fallen and employment growth is almost entirely driven by more full time and permanent jobs.
'The only sustainable solution to weak pay growth is to address the fundamental cause, which is the UK’s poor productivity performance. The new government should not allow the current short-term political uncertainty and looming Brexit negotiations to distract from the need to address key issues, such as managerial quality, skills development for the whole workforce, and work organisation and progression. We hope that the Queen’s Speech will include a commitment to draw up a new long-term productivity plan based on consultations with a wide range of industrial and professional organisations and trade unions, including a clear focus on the workplace.'